New Pathways for Hydropower: Getting Hydropower Built ... of mitigating the risks of small hydropower

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  • ORNL/TM-2015/48

    Lead Authors: Norm Bishop Deborah Linke

    Editor: Carl Vansant Contributing Authors: Chuck Alsberg

    Jay Anders Ali Grovue Sarah Hill-Nelson Kurt Johnson Brennan Smith Dave Youlen Kevin Young

    January 2015

    New Pathways for Hydropower: Getting Hydropower Built—What Does It Take?

  • The cover photo shows the Tri-County Water Conservancy District’s 8-MW hydropower complex, which was commissioned in 2014 at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Ridgway Dam. Photo courtesy of Kurt Johnson, Telluride Eneregy.

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    This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This manuscript has been authored by the Hydro Research Foundation with UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the US Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non- exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe- public-access-plan).

  • ORNL/TM-2015/48

    Environmental Sciences Energy–Water Resource Systems Group

    New Pathways for Hydropower Development What It Takes to Get Hydropower Built

    Date Published: January 2015

    Prepared by

    Hydro Research Foundation in cooperation with

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory Under Subcontract 4000126615

    Prepared for

    OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY

    Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6283 managed by

    UT-BATTELLE, LLC for the

    US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725

  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... iii Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................... v

    Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms ............................................................................... vii Introduction 1

    Section 1. Background and Perspective ...................................................................................... 2 The Need for New Pathways to Feasibility ............................................................................................... 2 Purpose and Scope .................................................................................................................................... 2 Assessments of Hydropower Development Opportunities ....................................................................... 3 The Importance of Innovating Early in Project Development .................................................................. 4 Developer Types and Roles ....................................................................................................................... 4 Barriers to Development ........................................................................................................................... 5

    Section  2.  Ideas  and  Solutions .................................................................................................. 7 Improved Tools for Siting, Pre-qualification, and Feasibility Determination ........................................ 10

    Idea 1: Develop a website/portal enabling access to public information to help developers accelerate site assessment ........................................................................................................ 10

    Idea 2 : Study a selected region/locale to assess opportunities for siting new small- hydropower installations .......................................................................................................... 13

    Idea 3: Develop improved tools for early project configuration and cost estimating ......................... 14 Idea 4: Enhance the DSIRE online database to include and highlight hydropower-related

    information ............................................................................................................................. 16 New and Improved Design Tools—Guidelines and Standards ............................................................... 17

    Idea 5: Develop a guide for draft tube configuration .......................................................................... 17 Idea 6: Develop design standards and models for siphon hydroelectric plants to support

    rapid deployment ...................................................................................................................... 18 Idea 7: Develop design standards and best practices for the application of new penstock

    materials ................................................................................................................................... 20 Idea 8: Develop a guideline for capital cost-saving “fit for purpose” project designs ........................ 21

    Improved Access to Design-related Information—Online Toolboxes and Databases ............................ 22 Idea 9 : Develop an online hydropower construction materials toolbox ............................................ 22 Idea 10: Develop an online repository of information for gates and operators ................................... 24 Idea 11: Develop an online inventory of fish screens, bypass systems, lifts, and ladders .................. 25 Idea 12: Develop a procurement toolbox for hydropower equipment, components, and

    systems ..................................................................................................................................... 26 New Hydro-Specific Education, Training, and Outreach ....................................................................... 28

    Idea 13: Prepare and distribute white papers on new small-hydropower technology ......................... 28 Idea 14: Develop a hydropower-specific core education curriculum for hydropower

    engineers ................................................................................................................................ 29 Idea 15: Develop a training course for small-hydropower operators .................................................. 30

    Advanced and Improved Technology, Materials, and Manufacturing .................................................... 31 Idea 16: Expand the use of alternative and composite materials in hydropower plant

    components ............................................................................................................................ 31 Idea 17: Develop strategies for smaller and reduced reinforced-concrete structures .......................... 33 Idea 18: Develop new turbine technology to reduce or eliminate civil construction .......................... 35 Idea 19: Accelerate three-dimensional printing of turbines and components ..................................... 36

  • Idea 20: Establish specifications, criteria, and validation methods for fish-friendly turbines ............ 38 Idea 21: Stimulate technology innovation relevant to new hydropower ............................................. 40

    Standardized and Modular Designs ......................................................................................................... 42 Idea 22: Develop standard designs for conduit hydropower ............................................................... 42 Idea 23: Develop standardized, factory-assembled small-hydropower equipment packages

    with ancillary equipment mounted on skids to speed construction .......................................... 43 Idea 24: Simplify project operations and maintenance by using modular components ...................... 44 Idea 25: Develop a library of three-dimensional drawings and configurations .................................. 45

    New and Improved Electrical Standards and Practices ........................................................................... 46 Idea 26: Develop standard electrical and control configurations for new hydropower plants ............ 46 Idea 27: Develop standard substation configurations ......................................................................... 47 Idea 28: Develop small-hydropower standards for the National Electrical Code ..............